The weekend saw Aiden Neate and Sonny Smith hit the ground running and show themselves as a force to be reckoned with at the season opener of ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA and Ginetta Juniors. Neate showed his pace and his dedication for going after the British F4 2022 championship title, while Rookie Smith achieved the first outright pole of the weekend at Donington.
Sonny, who is participating in the Ginetta Juniors championship with R-Racing, set the pace in the opening qualifying session of the season by scoring a maiden pole position in the championship by quarter of a second. Unfortunately, in race one he had a slow launch off the line which left the door open for Reynolds to lead into the first corner. Fighting his way back through, Sonny finished P2 and top step on the rookie podium. The young driver went onto secure P7 in Race 3, being the second Rookie across the line, a great first weekend for his debut season.
"It was a solid start to the first round of the Junior Ginetta Championship at Donington Park. There are a lot of positives to be taken away from this weekend and also lots to learn from." – Sonny Smith
Coming into the season with title aspirations, Aiden Neate started in style. The 16-year-old driver made his debut in the championship in the second half of 2021, whilst also competing in the 2022 UAE F4 championship where he finished P3. With some valuable experience under his belt, Neate showed his skill in qualifying securing a P3 and P2.
Race 1 saw Aiden get boxed going into the first turn, which unfortunately led to him dropping back one place. With strong and consistent driving, he held off any challenge and crossed the line just shy of the podium at P4. An unfortunate racing incident in the reverse grid race meant Aiden was forced to retire from Race 2. Back on track, the young driver went on to score another great performance in the final race, ending the weekend with a podium in P2.
"My goal this year is to go for the Championship, I’m really happy to be staying with the same team – it gives me consistency which I haven’t had for the last four years. It hasn’t been the perfect weekend but it’s a good start to the season on which we can build." – Aiden Neate
The ROKiT F4 British Championship and Ginetta Junior Championship continue in 3 weeks time, on 14-15 May at Brands Hatch.
"It was a great weekend for both Sonny and Aiden. Sonny executed a brilliant opening round of the season at Donington. First by achieving outright pole position and then by backing it up with an overall podium in his first race. As a rookie he dealt with the new challenges and experience with maturity and patience. Aiden had great pace from the start of official practice all the way through the weekend. Without a doubt he showed his competitors he’s a threat to the title. "– Struan Moore, Driver Manager